Category Archives: Rankings

Week 3 Ranking Notes

Note: These rankings differ from the official week 3 rankings because the Monday meets will not be included until next week, but I took them into account here because they’ve already happened as I write this so…it would be weird to pretend they haven’t?


1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.625
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma retains the #1 spot in the rankings despite a “bad for Oklahoma” 197.000 at the North Carolina tri-meet. It wasn’t a tragic performance by any means—it’s still a 197—but Oklahoma did count a fall on floor and did not vault up to the level of the previous weeks, really feeling the absence of Maggie Nichols. Nichols was withheld from the meet with a bruised heel but is not expected to be out for any lengthy period. Oklahoma is going through a similar process to last season on floor where there’s a core group that we know will score well, but that group does not yet have six members. Many of the people auditioning for the role have not been hitting, so watch that space. As happened last season, I’d expect Showers to take that leadoff role eventually, but she’s been out on floor for a few weeks now.


2. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.575
Previous ranking: 2

With its massive Monday score, UCLA nearly managed to catch Oklahoma, something that doesn’t typically happen during the regular season. Now, of course all the top teams get massively overscored especially at home, but UCLA’s Monday competition was next-level. That means we basically have to throw out the 197.775 for what was a very nice performance, a good progress point for late January particularly on bars and floor, but also nowhere near the kind of postseason performance that score would indicate. UCLA did get two new 10.0 starts into the vault lineup from Poston and Wright (Wright in particular will have earned a spot with that vault), so while the vault lineup is still clearly in the experimental phase—with some very experimental landings—the pieces are coalescing faster and more realistically than they have before. You could actually see UCLA showing up to nationals and counting five 10.0 vaults this year.   


3. Florida Gators

Average: 197.400
Previous ranking: 3

Florida upped its average by a tenth this week to stay in third place, though the big news will not be the score but the victory over LSU at LSU—a big deal because of like SEC things or whatever. Also a big deal because it was super exciting, the tightly matched contest we all wanted it to be, where the difference seems to have been Florida’s exceptional beam performance that outscored LSU’s floor total in the final rotation. It’s not an easy feat to win a meet on beam, an event that is evaluated much tighter than floor is. With lineups like UCLA’s, Oklahoma’s, and Florida’s, we are living in the golden age of beam in NCAA right now.


4. Utah Utes

Average: 197.192
Previous ranking: 4

Utah retains its #4 ranking with another low 197, this one earned away at Oregon State. All of Utah’s scores this season having broken the 197 barrier, and only UCLA and Florida have higher basement scores than Utah in the young season. Utah will feel pretty comfortable about what’s been happening so far on floor and on vault (especially with some 1.5s still to get into the lineup from people like Tessen), the next step being to prove that the bars and beam 9.9s exist to keep pace with the teams fighting to make the last day. So far, Utah has just 1 beam routine of the 18 competed so far that has reached 9.900, which is going to keep the total scores away from the high 197s that we’re starting to see elsewhere.


5. LSU Tigers

Average: 196.825
Previous ranking: 4

All is not lost for LSU, recording a season high and perfectly usable 197.425 over the weekend. Nonetheless, a second-consecutive defeat, LSU’s first loss at home since falling to Alabama in March 2013, marks this as a disappointing start to a 2019 season that has so far failed to meet the lofty expectations we have for LSU. LSU did look pretty good on bars and vault against Florida, getting five 10.0s into the vault lineup including the introduction of Kelley and the Priessman 1.5. Like UCLA’s vault introductions this week, they provide an encouraging look at what LSU may be able to do down the line. But there will be some second guessing the decision to put Priessman in the floor lineup for a routine that looked like it hurt. A lot. The question of the hour: what actually is LSU’s best floor lineup? And how different is the reality from the ideal?


Continue reading Week 3 Ranking Notes

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Week 2 Ranking Notes

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.938
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma retains the #1 spot this week following a 197.825—a score that didn’t even get into the 198s, so psssh what are we here for? Of note, the Sooners brought out the holy grail of vault lineups six Y1.5s, which is so far ahead of the rest of the country at this point as to be comical—and certainly sets the new standard that all other teams will hope to catch by nationals. No contending teams will feel at peace bringing two 10.0s when Oklahoma has six. Also, there was the issue of Maggie Nichols limping a little after her floor routine, which broke several angels.


2. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.475
Previous ranking: 2

UCLA cruised with a 197.700 at the Anaheim quad meet, a performance that is becoming more remarked upon for Katelyn Ohashi’s floor being shared online by various famouses than anything else. (When are famouses going to share Gracie Kramer’s floor routine, or like their money or something, that’s what I want to know.) There were certainly moments of cracktastic scoring in that one—the beam rotation that scored 49.475 had far fewer errors than the floor rotation that scored 49.700, and this why judging will be the death of me—but you absolutely take this performance for a January meet.


3. Florida Gators

Average: 197.300
Previous ranking: UNR

Florida debuts in 3rd place with a very respectable 197.300 for an opening meet that was also very much in the “solid progress for January” category. Vault isn’t there yet with quite a few landing problems, but the potential on bars and beam is tremendous, the lineups didn’t look to be totally lost without Baumann even though she’ll be in the best-case lineups on three pieces, and Trinity Thomas is already priming herself to get 10s this season by debuting with a 39.475 AA score.


4. Utah Utes

Average: 197.213
Previous ranking: 3

Utah drops a single spot this week because of Florida’s entry into the rankings but will nonetheless be pretty content with scoring over 197 in another January meet. It wasn’t a mistake-free performance—the team is clearly still working through some lineups, which is good because they should have options to explore—but Utah is already showing the ability to put up equivalent results in home and away contexts. I’m happy Utah isn’t settling on “reliable veteran for 9.825” when there are freshmen who could score higher in time to be given experience. For instance, Randall didn’t get a good floor score in this meet, but I like her potential for the lineup. 


5. LSU Tigers

Average: 196.525
Previous ranking: 4

LSU drops to 5th after a disappointing loss to Auburn, which will sting more because of the result than the score. A 196.275 is LSU’s lowest total in quite some time, but it’s a long season and that score will be a distant, dropped memory by late February. Meanwhile, this team is not going to forget losing to Auburn any time soon. Like basically ever. We don’t know how much the warmup injury to McKenna Kelley (which sounds like it’s not going to be too major) affected the performance, but floor and beam were far below LSU’s expected level—uncertain in landings on floor, shaky and tentative on beam. Issues to work out for next week.


Continue reading Week 2 Ranking Notes

Week 1 Ranking Notes

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 198.050
Previous ranking: 2

So yeah, Oklahoma is winning. On the strength of a Maggie Nichols 39.750 in the AA, the Sooners dashed out to an eight-tenth advantage over the rest of the country, already providing quite a useful ranking buffer for as long as we’re going by average. It’s not surprising that Oklahoma has jumped out to a lead given the team’s specific attention to starting quickly, but seeing the 198 barrier fall so early is a surprise…since it has never happened before. This 198.050 now sits as the highest opening-weekend score in the history of college gymnastics.


2. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.250
Previous ranking: 1

While UCLA finds itself well behind Oklahoma after the first weekend, breaking 197 in the first meet is still a significant step for a team that doesn’t really do that in opening meets. This is the Bruins’ first opening-week 197 since the 2005 season, demonstrating an extra level of preparation over previous seasons—but still with three falls and a sufficient level of “who’s in this lineup, nobody knows, even Val maybe” to make us feel right at home.


3. Utah Utes

Average: 197.175
Previous ranking: 5

It’s like they can’t not be prepared. Utah’s storyline for the preseason has been a dissatisfaction with recent national championship performances and a focus on taking it a little slower this year and ensuring the best performances are saved for when it really counts instead of used up in late February. And then they go out and immediately have stuck vaults from MMG and Skinner back to back in the first rotation. Once again this year, Utah looks to be among the farther along when trotting out for the first time this season.


4. LSU Tigers

Average: 196.775
Previous ranking: 4

Things got a little weird early on, with LSU counting a fall on vault in the first rotation of the season—not exactly something we expect because it’s LSU and vault. But, we did see this same kind of thing happen last year as well, with LSU looking pretty good but also having one random mistake to take the score down in nearly every one of the early-season meets. This was nonetheless a useful benchmark and an acceptable score, though very much a first meet of the season with random small errors scattered about that weren’t a problem but also weren’t typical of those athletes or lineups.


Continue reading Week 1 Ranking Notes

National Team Rankings – January 2019

How It Works
Taking into account all scores recorded at competitions in the last six months, each nation is given a team total based on how its best-scoring group of five senior gymnasts would do in a hypothetical 3-up, 3-count team final.

Each individual’s best scores may come from any official competition (they need not all be from the same meet), and whichever group of five gymnasts would produce the highest score is the one selected.

Countries that have not shown enough senior routines in the last six months to fill a 3-up, 3-count team on each event are not included.

Rankings will be updated at the beginning of each month, and scores will expire after six months in order to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of where nations are at the current moment. The current rankings include only scores from July 2018–December 2018. Now that 2019 has arrived, the newly senior 2003 babies have been added, noted with a “(2003)” next to their names.

Rejoining the rankings this month were Ireland and Guatemala, and dropping off was Cyprus.

Last month’s ranking is in parentheses. Continue reading National Team Rankings – January 2019

2019 Preseason Coaches Poll

Good news: this year’s preseason coaches poll provides the ideal mix of 80% “duh” and 20% “huh?” that we always hope for.

At the top, we have the duh. The first 5 exactly match their finishing positions from the 2018 season. This is normal, as most coaches just look at the rankings from last season and…do that. They’re not making charts about other team’s depth prospects and who has lost what routines or what freshmen are going to boost the early half of which lineups.

Still, even the top of the rankings is not devoid of interest.

2019 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. UCLA (20 1st-place votes) – 1,961 points
2. Oklahoma (25) – 1,959 points
3. Florida (9) – 1,946 points
4. LSU (2) – 1,891 points
5. Utah – 1,783 points
6. Alabama – 1,672 points
7. Georgia (1) – 1,585 points
8. California – 1,526 points
9. Michigan – 1,517 points
10. Kentucky – 1,481 points
11. Nebraska – 1,361 points
12. Arkansas – 1,341 points
13. Denver – 1,286 points
14. Auburn – 1,281 points
15. Washington – 1,253 points
16. Boise State – 1,183 points
17. Oregon State – 1,005 points
18. Ohio State – 989 points
19. Missouri – 912 points
20. Arizona State – 862 points
21. Stanford – 831 points
22. Illinois – 809 points
23. Minnesota – 798 points
24. BYU – 749 points
25. NC State – 704 points
26. George Washington – 611 points
27. Penn State – 525 points
28. Iowa State – 517 points
29. Iowa – 442 points
30. Central Michigan – 403 points
30. Maryland – 403 points
32. Southern Utah – 364 points
33. Arizona – 314 points
34. New Hampshire – 280 points
35. West Virginia – 259 points
36. Pittsburgh – 247 points

The first-place spot is typically (but certainly not always) reserved for last year’s champion, and that’s what happened here with UCLA at #1. Interestingly, Oklahoma still got more first-place votes than UCLA and verrrry nearly snatched #1, likely reflecting UCLA’s victory last season being an upset—with a plurality of coaches still viewing Oklahoma as the best team carrying over from 2018. Continue reading 2019 Preseason Coaches Poll

National Team Rankings – December 2018

How It Works
Taking into account all scores recorded at competitions in the last six months, each nation is given a team total based on how its best-scoring group of five senior gymnasts would do in a hypothetical 3-up, 3-count team final.

Each individual’s best scores may come from any official competition (they need not all be from the same meet), and whichever group of five gymnasts would produce the highest score is the one selected.

Countries that have not shown enough senior routines in the last six months to fill a 3-up, 3-count team on each event are not included.

Rankings will be updated at the beginning of each month, and scores will expire after six months in order to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of where nations are at the current moment. The current rankings include only scores from June 2018–November 2018.

No new teams joined the rankings this month. Dropping off the rankings were Ireland, Algeria, Bolivia, and Namibia.

Last month’s ranking is in parentheses. Continue reading National Team Rankings – December 2018

National Team Rankings – November 2018

How It Works
Taking into account all scores recorded at competitions in the last six months, each nation is given a team total based on how its best-scoring group of five senior gymnasts would do in a hypothetical 3-up, 3-count team final.

Each individual’s best scores may come from any official competition (they need not all be from the same meet), and whichever group of five gymnasts would produce the highest score is the one selected.

Countries that have not shown enough senior routines in the last six months to fill a 3-up, 3-count team on each event are not included.

Rankings will be updated at the beginning of each month, and scores will expire after six months in order to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of where nations are at the current moment. The current rankings include only scores from May 2018–October 2018 (extended to include the entirety of world championships).

Joining the rankings this month were Belarus and Serbia. Dropping off the rankings were Malta and Sri Lanka.

Last month’s ranking is in parentheses. Continue reading National Team Rankings – November 2018